The Hadhramaut UFO Landing And Strange Aerial Objects Of The Middle East

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
April 1, 2024
Estimated Reading Time
12 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Sightings

In the mid-1970s in the Hadhramaut region of the Middle East, three men witnessed three strange glowing objects moving across the sky, heading into the desert valley. They would immediately follow the strange objects on camel, eventually tracking them into a valley accessed only by steep steps carved into the mountains that surrounded it. To their amazement, below them were signs that whatever the object was, it had landed in the valley for reasons unknown. The incident remains one of the most intriguing UFO encounters to have unfolded in the Middle East.

For various reasons, UFO reports from this part of the world, particularly before the Internet, didn’t always find their way into the wider world. The fact is, though, there are many more reports of strange aerial vehicles and bizarre lights in the Middle East than many might think. And we might also consider that many, many others remain unreported.

Of course, that wasn’t the case with the incident in the Hadhramaut region, which was investigated and documented in the immediate aftermath. Although the following account was reproduced in the December 1974 edition of Flying Saucer Review, it originally appeared in the German publication, Das Naue Zeitalter (The New Age), in an article by Wolfgang Appel titled The Extraterrestrials Landed In The Hadhramaut.

Three Strange Objects Heading Out Of The East

Hadhramaut is a geographic region in the Middle East that takes in parts of Yemen, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. And on February 8th, 1974, it was the location of an apparent UFO landing. [1] The events were witnessed from the Yemen territory of the region at Al-Mukalla, when during the early evening of the night in question, in between the Evening Prayer (Maghrib) and Night Prayer (Isha) – approximately between 6:50 pm and 7:50 pm – Mullah Umar Siddiq, a priest at a local mosque, and his friends, Ibrahim Khaleb (a merchant) and Muhammed Watif (a physician), were standing on the roof of the mosque looking up at the late-evening sky.

They were facing the east, with the sun setting behind them and the first of the stars becoming visible in the darkening sky. However, moments later, each of the men looked on in absolute shock as they witnessed “three large white discs” coming into view. What’s more, these anomalous objects were descending slowly toward the ground. To begin with, while all three agreed the objects were likely some kind of “space capsule”, they thought they were most likely some kind of experimental aircraft of the United States or the Soviet Union.

Immediately captivated they “gathered together some provisions” and hired three camels for the evening, intent on heading in the directions the strange objects were traveling in. They estimated the objects were somewhere in the direction of the Wadi Jawlan, a largely uninhabited valley around 30 miles to the east of their location. It would be a long journey (several hours in total) over, at times, rocky, hilly terrain. It wasn’t lost on Watif that between them they had a “medical expert, a practical man of affairs”, and a “holy man” – quite the diverse group should they encounter entities from another world.

A Sudden “Vivid Glow” That Lit Up The Early Morning Sky

As dawn approached, the three men dismounted from their camels in order to partake in the Morning Prayer (Fajr). It was as they were concluding their prayers that they saw a “vivid glow” that “lit up the whole eastern sky”. The men later recalled that “although the sun was not yet above the horizon, the whole of the south-eastern sky above the Wadi Jawlan was, for a few seconds, lit up and became as bright as noonday”.

Then, the already strange events turned even stranger. The witnesses recalled that a “yellowish-white” light in “three beams” came from the top of each object. These lights were “stabbing and fanning out into the sky”. After several moments, the brightness of the light faded somewhat, but the three beams remained visible. The three men continued to watch this display as the beams of light began to grow “paler and thinner”, eventually becoming “lost in the light of dawn”.

Undeterred by these strange events, the men packed up their belongings, and set out on camel once more, heading toward the Wadi Jawlan. And when they finally arrived several hours later, they would find evidence that something very strange had happened there.

An Inaccessible Valley With Treacherous Terrain

The valley of the Wadi is a triangular shape, with one perimeter measuring approximately just over a mile, with the other two being around three miles each. Steep hills surround the valley on all sides, and it is accessible only via “very steep and very narrow flights of steps cut out of the rock face”.

The only realistic way to enter the valley would be on foot, with no place suitable for any “wheeled or caterpillar-tracked vehicle” to do so. Investigators later pointed out that there is a small opening in the mountains and hills which form the perimeters of the valley which leads to the sea. However, this opening is “so beset with rocks and reefs that no boat could possibly get through”.

Ultimately, “no vehicle or craft could possibly have got to into the Wadi Jawlan unless it (was) by air” – and even then, most “normal aircraft” would have been unable to land there due to the rocky terrain of the valley floor. In fact, according to Wolfgang Appel’s article, “the only craft that could have penetrated there would accordingly have had to be a helicopter. Or a spacecraft”.

Mullah Umar Siddiq would take Appel to the location of the apparent landing site 10 days after the incident so he could see it for himself, and he would describe what he was as “nothing less than staggering”. He continued that “impressed in the sand” were multiple caterpillar-track-type vehicles”, and that whatever vehicle had made the tracks, they had to have had a considerable weight to them due to the sheer depth of them, as well as the fact that these vehicles had seemingly crushed volcanic rock into dust as they had negotiated the treacherous terrain.

A Scene Of Intrigue And Confusion

As Appel looked around the valley, he contemplated increasingly just what vehicles had made these tracks, and why. Even if they had somehow gained entry to the valley, there were no known tanks or tractors in the immediate area. And, with that in mind, Appel asked just why a “foreign helicopter (would) have brought any sort of caterpillar-tracked vehicle and set it down precisely in this wilderness of Wadi Jawlan”.

It was, though, as Appel continued to scan the track marks in the valley that he and Siddiq made what was perhaps the most startling discovery. On the valley floor, they could make out three deep indentions, each around 300 feet apart and in the distinct shape of a triangle – almost as if something very heavy with a triangular-shaped base had landed upon the valley. And if that was the case, it would seem that the track markings were the result of some kind of ground vehicle that had almost certainly been deployed from the mystery object.

Even stranger, in the middle of these triangular perimeters, they could see rock that had been “fused and melted”, suggesting it had been subject to some kind of intense heat. They also saw further evidence of intense heat around the edges of the triangle where some of the surrounding vegetation had clearly been singed and burnt.

Appel spent three full days in the area, making a “painstaking examination” in the hope that he might recover one small piece of the object, or perhaps one of the ground vehicles that had seemingly been conducting some kind of survey of the land. However, despite his efforts, he found nothing of the sort.

An Incident That Remains A Complete Mystery

The incident in the Hadhramaut region is indeed an intriguing and head-scratching event. Just what might the objects have been that they witnessed? Were they vehicles from another world that had somehow reached here from the far reaches of space? Or could they have been some kind of top-secret military aircraft?

Perhaps more than anything else we might ask just what the purpose of the landing might have been. Did the occupants of these mysterious craft have to carry out some kind of repairs? Indeed, perhaps that is why they opted for such a remote and largely inaccessible location in the first place.

That something very real was witnessed that evening in 1974 is surely without question, not least because of the physical evidence seemingly left behind in the valley, as well as the fact that the three witnesses were found to be extremely credible with no apparent motive for any falsehoods.

The sighting remains a complete mystery over half a century later. It is, though, far from the only strange encounter with a mysterious aerial object in the Middle East.

The 1972 Baakline UFO Sighting

Around 18 months earlier, another little-known UFO sighting unfolded in the Middle East region, this time over Baakline in Lebanon. [2] According to a report titled UFO Over Lebanon in the January-February 1973 edition of the APRO Bulletin, on the evening of August 4th, 1972, a professor of art, Walter Hamady was visiting his uncle’s house in Chemlan, which overlooked Beirut Airport.

It was around dusk when Walter, his wife, Mary, as well as his aunt, were pulling into the driveway of the house. Almost immediately, his cousins ran towards the car exclaiming they had “seen a flying saucer”. His cousin later stated that he and his wife were sitting outside on the terrace looking up at the early evening sky when all the power at the property suddenly cut out. They looked around and could see other people’s properties around the village still had power, and so realized the only property that appeared to be affected was theirs.

To begin with, they simply sat and waited for the power to return (power outages were not at all uncommon). However, after several moments, the cousin’s wife drew his attention to a “beautiful red star” that she wondered aloud was Mars. Then, as they continued to watch what they thought was the red planet, a distinct “puff of black smoke” was emitted from it, making them realize they were watching something a lot more out of the ordinary. Following this, the object began to move, heading in a southwesterly direction.

At this point, the cousin went to obtain his binoculars, and by the time he had returned to the terrace, he could see Walter pulling his car onto the drive.

A Disc-Shaped Object With Glowing Lights

A short time after Walter had arrived at the house the power returned. The group continued sitting outside on the terrace, enjoying the warm weather and cooled by the breeze from the mountains. At some point during the evening, they ventured over to the railing at the edge of the yard to look out over the town of Deir El Quamar, which was beautifully and brightly lit due to a celebration taking place there.

Eventually, they turned their attention skyward and began pointing out constellations. As they were highlighting the Big Dipper, Mary suddenly noticed a glowing red star-like object “moving in it”. She quickly alerted the others as to what she was seeing, and those who had binoculars immediately used them to focus on the constellation, and more specifically, the moving red object.

Walter would also view the object through binoculars, later describing it as looking like “two saucers placed on top of each other” that had a “perpendicular plane of windows that went all the way around” the object. Through these windows it was clear that some kind of light was one, a light that Walter offered “was not strange” and that looked just like “house lights at night”, adding they had a “warm and yellow appearance”.

He continued that the top of the craft had a slight domed appearance that had a similar light to the light shining out from the windows along the side. Interestingly or not, Walter could not recall the color of the lights, but Mary recalled that one was red and the other was green (although she wasn’t certain which was which).

All recalled that there was no noise from the object, nor was there any visible means of propulsion. They continued to watch for several minutes as the object maintained a steady pace, approximately the same speed as a propellor aircraft. It eventually disappeared into the distance and remains a complete mystery today over half a century later.

The Recent UFO And Alien Encounters Of Israel

According to a report by Shimon Rosenberg, on the evening of July 3rd, 2005, at just before 10 pm close to the Israeli-Lebanese border, was witnessed and filmed by the local resident on the Israeli side of the border.

To begin with, when he first noticed the aerial anomaly, Rosenberg stated that a tree partially blocked his view of it he was standing under, and so he wasn’t able to film it. However, at around 10:15 pm, the star-like object appeared once more, moving directly over Rosenberg’s neighborhood. As he filmed it, the object came to a temporary halt, allowing him to “zoom in” on it for several moments before it began moving once more, heading toward the north.

It eventually disappeared behind a building, and while Rosenberg did manage to view it again after working around the building and getting back into his sight, it was now beginning to pick up pace, eventually disappearing into the distance. Unfortunately, the footage doesn’t appear to be available anywhere online (although if you know of its whereabouts, please get in touch with a link).

In the same year, several months earlier at around 9:15 pm on April 5th, 2005, somewhere in “urban Israel”, a resident was returning back to their house after taking out the trash when they noticed a bright red light overhead. It was completely stationary, at first, so the witness did their best to ignore it. However, when it began moving, they realized they were witnessing something out of the norm. The more the witness focused on the object, the more they could tell the object was a disc-shape that flashed “blue, orange, and red” lights. They also estimated that while in view, the object was barely 100 feet above the ground.

Strange, Glowing Figures Approach the Parliament Building

The following year, on the evening of June 6th, 2006, according to a report in the Israeli publication, Maariv, truly strange events unfolded around the Knesset – Israel’s House of Parliament House. On various occasions during the evening, witnesses claimed that a “luminous white body or figure” appeared near the building and “strolled” around the main court for several minutes.

It soon became apparent that many people had witnessed this strange, glowing figure, with some people even claiming to have seen the figure during the daylight hours inside the legislative assembly, while others claim they saw it approaching the building from the direction of a nearby cave near the old cemetery. Most of the sightings, though, appeared later in the evening, with one coming from a security guard, who claimed to have seen a “shiny, white, cloud” enter the parliament building at around 2 am which then “assumed the shape of a body” and proceeded to “stroll along the court”.

The events took a strange, curious turn in the days and months that followed, when rumors of security camera footage were not only denied, but it was officially claimed that nothing at all untoward happened at all. Then, things took a further twist when the Chief of Security at the parliament building ordered film experts to analyze recent security footage. It would seem clear that whatever happened that evening, not only were the authorities aware of it, but they were actively covering up the events.

It is perhaps interesting here to draw attention to strange appearances in Egypt at the Church of Saint Mary in Zeitoun between 1968 and 1970. The descriptions of those strange apparitions are remarkably similar to those witnessed in Tel Aviv in 2006. While Egypt is part of Africa, it is often included in the Middle East due to its geographic location, as well as its long history and influence in the region. Could the location be a connecting factor here?

The video below looks at those strange sightings in Egypt a little further.

The 2004 Tel Aviv Sighting

Another strange sighting in the opening decade of the twenty-first century in Israel occurred on July 6th, 2004, also in Tel Aviv. At just before 10 pm, a local resident on their partner were on the patio of their 12th-story apartment when they became aware of two strange lights that appeared to be hovering around 2000 feet above Jaffa Port around three miles away.

To begin with, the pair believed the objects were helicopters. However, they noticed that the lights had a strange blue and pink glow to it. Furthermore, it wasn’t moving at all but was completely still. Then, it dimmed and disappeared, as if it had simply faded away. A short time later, though, two more lights appeared, one now much higher than the other. They too disappeared, bringing the sighting, which lasted around 45 minutes in between noticing the first lights and the second set of lights disappearing.

During the course of the sighting, one of the witnesses went back inside, assuming the lights wouldn’t be returning, meaning they didn’t see the second set. Furthermore, as they had only just moved into the property, a lot of their possessions were still in transit, including their camcorder, meaning they didn’t manage to capture any footage or even get any pictures. The sighting, though, is interesting, and the witness is sure that what they saw was not helicopters.

Long History Of Aerial Objects Over Iran And Iraq

We have explored the Tehran UFO Jet Chase over Iran in-depth previously, and we have examined many of the UFO sightings of the Gulf War over Iraq. However, there are other intriguing sightings from these Middle Eastern countries.

On the afternoon of August 20th, 2003, for example, at around 1:45 pm in a rural part of northern Iran near the Caspian Sea, two cousins were driving from the small town of Chalus to Shahsavar with the sea on one side of them, and the forest on the other. As they were driving, they noticed “two strong white lights” just short of 1000 feet in the air. The lights were moving “very slow to left and right, up and down” in a controlled and purposeful manner.

The witnesses estimated the lights were just over a mile away from them, and were between 15 to 30 feet across. It remained in view for around 20 seconds before disappearing behind the trees at the roadside.

Several years later, at around 9 pm on June 18th, 2007 in Almeria, Baghdad in Iraq, a local resident reported seeing a glowing white triangular shape “appear suddenly in the sky”. It remained visible for several seconds before vanishing into thin air. Whatever the object was, it remained completely still and silent while visible.

Likely Many More UFO Reports To Come From The Middle East

As we can see, then, there are a lot more UFO encounters that have unfolded in the Middle East than we might at first think. And when we add in the encounters from the Gulf Wars and the famous Tehran UFO Jet chase, this UFO sightings tally only increases. Furthermore, these sightings continue today, and with the arrival of the Internet, they enter the wider public arena much quicker than in previous decades.

We might assume if the intelligence behind these objects is of an extraterrestrial nature, then they would almost certainly be interested in the whole planet. We also, though, might consider that this entire region, with its long history stretching back to the start of known civilization, could also be a factor in sightings of potentially alien vehicles in this part of the world.

As the 2020s and beyond unfold, we can only hope that any further sightings are not only documented and investigated but that they enter the public arena as soon as possible so that they contribute to the ever-growing bigger picture of the UFO and alien mysteries.

The video below looks at some of the most mysterious UFO encounters on record.


1 An Arabian Landing?, Gordon Creighton, Flying Saucer Review, Vol. 20, No. 3, December 1974
2 Disc-shaped UFO over Lebanon seen by several family members, UFO Evidence

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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